August 16, 2011

by Bobby May

In the first semester of my second year I decided to ride out "Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications" till the end, despite how much of a massive fucking waste of time it all was.
It was a waste of time in many, many ways. This difficult decision took more than the required amount of thought from a Design student, and the list of CONS outweighed the PROS significantly.

I hated the fact my University was two and half hours away. For most its students, this University was two and half hours away too.
So basically, if you finish class and some jerk design student starts speaking to you on the courtesy bus to the hour long train ride back to Sydney, you’re stuck with that fuckwit for upwards of THREE HOURS. I don’t like talking to anybody I don’t know, and I don’t like making new friends.
I just want to sit on the train and listen to music by myself. Even if this other design student kept to themselves on the train, I STILL DON’T WANT THEM NEAR ME. And there’s nothing wrong with that either. I would just rather not feel like I have to make any effort, which is basically my attitude toward University.

About 10 to 15 times I was made to approach the train station after class with some idiot, knowing full well that I’d have an entire hour of bullshit pointless chit-chat with them should I get on the train with them.
And every single time I told them, "Oh no sorry I’m going this way, see you later", and I got on a train in the WRONG DIRECTION. From there, I’d get on ANOTHER train back in the RIGHT DIRECTION, adding an annoying 20 minutes to the already lengthy journey home. This was necessary, and I saw no other way around my reasoning.

I don’t want to generalise here as hard as this is to express because most design students are actually fine. I met two of them who I’m still really great friends with.
But it’s those few that got to me…
I enrolled to University on my second day— that’s how little I cared. For the time I spent there I can’t say I tried hard once. I rocked up, sometimes half-dressed, did my bit, and went home.

But then there’s those who rock up to University much like they’re going fucking clubbing. There was this one jerk who wore a tie every day. Every. Day.
Alright, so he can wear what he wants whenever he wants, like he has. And yes, he can dye his hair grey, like he has. And of course, he can shave the sides of his head and submerge this outlandish hairstyle in some oily substance whenever he pleases. But it was when he opened his mouth in class discussions that made me want to kick him square in the face. He literally had something to say about everything, most of it stating the obvious. He over analysed photographs and artworks, uttering such complete nonsense like he was some sort of Shit-Talking Generator.

At a lecture, this famous image of a girl during the Vietnam War was presented to the room of design students for analysis. As the lecturer clicked NEXT SLIDE on his laptop, the picture was shown in great detail on the screen. And what was the reaction from the class?

…everybody started LAUGHING.

If I was the lecturer I would have closed my laptop and started screaming maniacally at them before running the fuck out of there. Not only was the reaction completely disrespectful, but it shouldn’t be at all tolerated. After the lecturer waited for the remaining chuckles to die down as if this were routine, he continued on with the lecture. At this point, I started to question my future at the University.

All art is subjective, right? Right. Not everyone likes Van Gogh’s work, so how the fuck could my Pass grade be compared to that of a Distinction? I’m not an idiot— it’s very clear to see where one Design student had put the effort in, and another hadn’t. But a number of times I really did try, and the result was fucking vague to say the least.

The assignment was to scan one item, take one photo, and one quote from somebody, and put it all together as if it were a billboard. Simple, right?
What I did was, I scanned my "POLICE LINE: DO NOT CROSS" guitar strap, and took a photo of five McDonalds 30 cent cones, three cones standing upright, two cones facing down. I also found this random anonymous quote: "Ice cream is exquisite, what a pity it isn’t illegal", and then I put it all together like it were crime scene. I thought to myself "definite Distinction, this one". The photograph was great, it was original, and the quote made complete sense. All my friends loved it because they got it.

"I don’t get it", the tutor said to me. “You don’t get it?” I replied. “It’s like a crime scene. The quote’s saying..”
"No, I don’t get it.”

And that was it. No arguments there. She didn’t fucking get it. So I got a Pass grade. I figured that if she didn’t get it then perhaps I should be teaching her, the dopey bitch.

So, all of these CONS were put against one positive.

The University experience is what they say is the best and most important part of your life. I stuck with this course for approximately 20 months for this reason hoping it would get better, and I was convinced that it would. I was unhappy now but I thought for some reason it was all going to pay off.

One day I got to University remarkably on time for a BIG assignment due. I’d been up for the entire night finishing it, promising my tutor I’d have it in to her by 9am, given the extended deadline I was granted.

With 10 minutes till submission, I approached the courtesy bus with a sense of accomplisment— this courtesy bus was the home stretch. Until:

"Sorry mate bus is full." The bus driver looked at me, gesturing me to disembark the bus.
"I’ll just stand here" I told him, as there was room for at least five more people for standing. And then he started yelling, “BUS! IS! FULL! GET OFF THE BUS. NOW.”
Shaking my head in disbelief I walked off the bus clutching my assignment.
"When’s the next one?" I asked him.

"Half hour." The doors shut and the bus drove off. And that was it, I effectively missed my deadline, which in turn meant I had failed the unit.
During the 30 minute wait at the bus stop I thought about my entire University experience so far… the ridiculous marking criteria, the idiot who wore ties every day, the pretentious design students laughing at a historic photo, the eventual two hour trip home I’d have to make day after day..

Forty-five minutes later the bus driver came around again. Instead of going to class, I got off a stop early to approach the main University office.
The queue I joined was fittingly short, and when I got to the front I spoke with a nice woman. ”Hey there, what can I help you with?” she said.

"I’d like to quit University, please."

Did you realise all too late that University wasn’t for you? Are you a douchebag Design student? Shoot me a response.


  1. bobbymay posted this